FROM humble beginnings, the church has always found ways and means to communicate the gospel of God.
From Moses writing the 10 commandments on tablets of stone, to saints writing scriptures on paper, today the modern day man of God has adapted to the next level of spreading the word through social media.
We have seen social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, among many others being used to make viral videos, but now man and women of God have found the platforms to be easier modes to reach out to the world.
"The underlying power of social media is not the technology or platforms but the power comes from people connecting with each other. Like how many saints the church has an unimaginable opportunity in social media to extend the borders of God's Kingdom online," said Apostle Patrick Boanerge.
Boanerge, a former pastor with Prophet Shepherd Bushiri's Enlightened Christian Gathering church (ECG) said he had seized the opportunity and found it was easier to connect with those that were unable to attend church services on Sundays.
Boanerge, who has since established his own ministry in the city - Flag Carriers Assembly, said he received his calling in 2006, with his main calling being that of preaching.
"My vision is to have a church that will work with the society and respect the rule of law. In 2006 God spoke to me and said he would start using me as his mouth piece. He said to me he would use me as an agent of change to repair and rebuild the broken hedge. "After my resignation in 2018 from ECG a lot started to happen. On 5 May 2018 I established FCA, which is based in Thorngrove suburb. "We started off with just 7 people but now we have a gathering of more than 200 people," said Boanerge.
On the use of social media, he among a few men of God, has seized the opportunity to use social media as a platform to spread the word of God.
"But not everyone will seize the opportunity. Some churches will choose to stick to their conventional methods. It will however, deal a great blow but none-the-less they will adapt. I envision that great things will happen through the grace of the Lord," said Boanerge.
He said he has hopes to build a 25 000-seater church in Bulawayo that will have technological advancements.
"It shall come to pass, as the Lord has spoken. This year we will be celebrating our one-year anniversary and it will be a celebration not to miss. It is open to all and anybody," said Boanerge.
He said it was his vision to weave social media into the church's cultural fabric.
"Whether it is volunteering on the church's digital team or real time we will make it a priority to have sermons on social media," said Boanerge, who holds early morning sermons on Facebook everyday at 8am.
"One cannot control the online conversation surrounding the church but it can be influenced. For the church to thrive it requires a new way of thinking," said Boanerge.
He noted that he would soon merge his social media pages so that he is able to spread the gospel across all platforms.